Favorite Food Festival, Taste of the Hawaiian Range, Changes Format For 2018


I remember rushing into the Hilton Waikoloa to be one of the first in line to sample some of the best food on the island at the annual Taste of the Hawaiian Range for a few years in a row. For years when I attended, I would hurriedly say “Aloha” to my friends as I dashed to the next booth to sample pork, beef, lamb and sheep served up in a variety of mouth-watering dishes. Then, the event wasn’t held in 2017 and I hoped it would not be the last time I had a chance to enjoy such a great food festival. Well, good news, it is back, but in a new format and tickets go on sale tomorrow, August 1st.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range is being held on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Mana Christian ‘Ohana (MCO) hall and the adjacent YMCA Minuke Ole Park in Waimea. The 2018 Taste offers outdoor agricultural-themed fun and educational activities 9 a.m.-3 p.m. before culminating with a 5:30-7:30 p.m. tasting event showcasing locally produced food at the MOC hall.

“We’ve changed up Taste to share info with our community ‘ohana about our local agriculture,” says event co-chair and rancher Jeri Moniz. “We will still have our popular, evening food tasting event to showcase pasture-raised meats, but we will also offer earlier activities geared for the general public, including keiki.”

Daytime fun includes agricultural-themed exhibits and activities, local product vendor booths and the viewing of livestock animals. Community school groups and ag-related organizations are invited to provide food concessions for daytime attendees. Admission to the park exhibits is free.

Free daytime classes geared for farmers and ranchers are offered in the MOC classroom building. Presentations will delve into the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the cutting-edge GMO research and technology involving CRSPR-Cas9, Smart Yields Technology, invasive species and Worker Protection Standards for ag personnel. In addition, there will be a demonstration on best-use practices for beef carcass utilization by Dr. Dale Woerner and Dr. Keith Belk of Colorado State University.

The 2018 installment of Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 will be presented by Chef Edwin Goto of Waimea’s Village Burger and Noodle Club. Admission to the 2:30-4 p.m. culinary demo with sampling is $10.

Featuring over 20 culinary stations, the evening Taste will be both inside and out of the MOC hall and open to 500 attendees. Admission to the alcohol-free event is $50 presale.

Tickets for both the gala and Cooking 101 are available online starting August 1 at www.tasteofthehawaiianrange.com. A limited number of gala tickets will also be sold as cash/carry at Parker Ranch Store in Waimea. Gala tix, if still available, will be sold at the door for $60. Cooking 101 tix will be sold at the door for $10.

In its 22ndyear, Taste of the Range is changing its focus to share the importance of all types of Hawai‘i agriculture while acquainting keiki with farm animals and how agriculture is the science, art and practice of producing food.

“In the past, Taste was geared to inform chefs and attendees on the benefits of using grass-fed beef, while encouraging ranchers to produce it,” explains Dr. Russell Nagata, co-chair and retired CTAHR Hawaii County administrator. “Our committee has come up with a new event emphasizing agriculture in a more broad and comprehensive way. We want to share how our local ranchers and farmers take pride in producing our high-quality food.”

Mana Christian ‘Ohana hall is located behind Parker Ranch Center at 67-1182 Lindsey Road. For more event information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.comor contact Gina, 808-322-4892. Stay connected via Facebook at TasteoftheHawaiianRange and at @TasteHI on Twitter and Instagram.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festivalprovides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, plus encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. Volunteers and sponsors are welcomed; contact Dr. Russell Nagata at [email protected]. For more information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

Hope to see you there!





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Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

Julie Ziemelis is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, blogger and vlogger in Kailua Kona. She created and moderates the “365 Things to Do in Kona” page and the Kona Newbies group on Facebook. She blogs at 365Kona.com and MoveToHawaii365.com and vlogs with her husband, Eric, at “365Hawaii” on YouTube. Julie also authored the books, “How to Move to Kona” and the “Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii”. You will most likely find Julie in Kona hiking, running, biking, taking photos and sharing Aloha.

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  • Mark Gross says:

    Great article Julie. What a fabulous opportunity for visitors and residents alike. Mahalo for sharing.